From Pursuing the Christ by Jennifer Kennedy Dean
The time came for her to give birth. Then she
gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped
Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding
trough—because there was no room for them at
Such an economy of language pronounces so momentous
an event. No grandiose words or well-turned
phrases could have spoken more elegantly. The facts
speak for themselves. The wonder is not stirred by the
reporting, but by the act of eternal love. Two simple
statements and the story is reported. But these two
sentences describe the moment toward which all of
history had been building since the first molecule of
matter was spoken into being.
Anticipated and longed for by heaven and earth, this
action was so stunning that words could only detract.
“God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words
be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). How quick I am to speak
and to string words into sentences and spin sentences
into paragraphs to fill any void in chatter. But I see how
spectacularly the arrangement of a few words—nouns
left mostly unmodified and verbs left naked—speak the
stark and wonderful truth. Silence speaks that for which
words are worthless.
No words can ever express the enormity of the Word
made flesh lying in a manger. “He is before all things,
and by Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17).
But on that holy night in Bethlehem, You cooed and
cried and nursed at Mary’s breast. Jesus, Your hands,
which would soon feel the tear of nails, curled around
her finger. Your feet, which would soon be pierced for
my transgressions, kicked the air in awkward infancy.
Your head, which would soon be gouged by thorns, lay
peacefully in Mary’s arms. No words. No words.